Middle East speech reaction roundup

Honestly, you have to wonder if Pres. Obama’s handlers are actively trying to sabotage his administration. Yesterday, he managed to alienate and tick off one of America’s best allies in the Middle East. Now, it appears that the Arabs–I do not use the word “Palestinian”–aren’t too happy about the speech, either. Of course, the Arab world won’t be happy until Israel is obliterated from the map, so I’ll cut him some slack on that one.

Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t happy.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was quick on the draw Thursday in voicing clear displeasure with President Barack Obama’s mideast policy speech.

“Israel appreciates President Obama’s commitment to peace,” the response began, curtly. “Israel believes that for peace to endure between Israelis and Palestinians, the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the viability of the one and only Jewish state.”
“That is why Prime Minister Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.” 
“Among other things,” Netanyahu reminded Obama, “those commitments relate to Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.”

To which Wizbang adds this bit of commentary:

I remember well the reports during the Presidential campaign from media outlets expressing confidently that Barack Hussein Obama was his own man, that the virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Israel statements made by Obama’s pastor of 20 years and by others affiliated with the church he attended and gave most of his charitable contributions to, would have no impact or influence over the man or his policies.

To which after today we should all be saying… bovine fecal matter.

Ace of Spades HQ is typically blunt in its analysis.

Very neat article at NRO pointing out the nuances of Obama’s words for Israel — compared to his words for Palestine.

It’s all pretty neat, but these word-choices matter: These words have been chosen carefully. Including the passive/active voice and declarative or commanding tenses. This is essentially a publicly-delivered diplomatic cable.

There are other neat things, but the best observation, to me, is the fact that when Obama speaks of Israel, he speaks in terms of concrete demands that he, Obama, is laying upon Israel.

When he turns to the reciprocal concessions most urge on Palestine, however, he stops speaking in the command tense, stops speaking of demanding this or that, and simply says that Palestinians will do better if they stop killing Jews.

Not that they must stop killing Jews, mind you, like Israel must stop building settlements; just that hey, it would be better, you know? Or not, you decide.

For contrast, the writer quotes Bush, who was pretty command-tense with Palestinians: They must crack down on terror and dismantle the terror infrastructure.

Perceptive. Obama makes demands on Israel, but makes promises to the Palestinians. Tells you pretty much where he’s coming from.

There’s more, and it’s well worth reading.

The American Spectator lists the ways Pres. Obama’s speech was less than smart. Here’s the one that gave me the heebiest of jeebies.

By telling — the day before his speech — Eli (sic) Wiesel and others that America’s commitment to Israel is unshakeable and sending his Deputy Secretary of State Jamie Steinberg to tell Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister that Israel shouldn’t worry about Obama’s speech, the President has once again demonstrated his rare talent for mendacity and his belief that this signal characteristic of his presidency can be forgiven because of how “transformational” he is.

Did you catch that? The president looked Elie Wiesel and a high-ranking Israeli in the eyes and lied. Lies, and embellished lies. Unbelievable.

Commentary magazine looks at the Arab world’s response, which was a predictable “Meh.”

Even more to the point, what comes across most from accounts of Arab reaction to Obama’s speech is the fact that not many people there care much about him. Whatever fascination they felt for him in the past seems to have faded.  That has to be a difficult pill for a man who sees himself in near messianic terms. His carefully parsed appeals to democracy and rights would have made a difference had he started speaking this way back in 2009 when his reaction to the repression of Iranian dissidents (which he properly acknowledged in his speech as the true start of the regional protests) was muted.

Nor are the Arabs excited much by the last portion of his speech that significantly tilted America towards the Palestinians and away from its ally Israel.  Though his words will be used to help fuel efforts to further isolate Israel, he didn’t go far enough to please Arab opinion. Obama did manage to alienate and weaken Israel but he will get little or no credit for this from Arab governments or public opinion.

Atlas Shrugs says that Obama is the new Arafat. Well, both of them have Nobel Peace Prizes.

Knesset members on the Right expressed outrage on Thursday night at US President Barack Obama’s call for the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps in an exchange of territory for security.

They called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reject Obama’s plan when he meets with him on Friday in Washington.

“Barack Hussein Obama adopted the staged plan for Israel’s destruction of Yasser Arafat, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister,” said Likud MK Danny Danon. “All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: To tell Obama forget about it.”

Gateway Pundit points out that Islamists urinated on Christ’s birthplace, and Pres. Obama’s new map of the Middle East will give them the chance to do the same to his grave.

The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem reeked of urineand was strewn with dirty pots and pans, leftover food and mattresses after the Islamist siege in 2002. A Franciscan study hall next to the church which had been gutted by a fire. Pots, pans, blankets, wrappers and filth was strewn around the ancient floor of the historic church.

In his Muslim speech on Thursday, Barack Obama told Israel to give Old Jerusalem, including the tomb of Jesus, to Hamas.
Now they can trash that church, too.

Maybe Pres. Obama did all this as misdirection to keep people from noticing that he is giving the War Powers Act all the respect of a garage band flyer shoved in your hand as you leave a concert.


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